Scottish Housing Association gets a digital-care first

Wristbands matter more than the “big red button”.

Caledonia Housing Association has linked with digital specialist Appello’s to launch ‘smart living’ at a flagship retirement development to achieve a Scottish first.

The initiatives at Servite House, Monifieth, sees wristbands replace “heavy, cumbersome” pendants; and Appello’s digital solution replacing the analogue call system, linking apartments, residents and managers through video calls, video door entry, and Wi-Fi in communal areas.

It also cuts connection times to Appello’s monitoring centre from minutes to seconds – securing a significant difference to emergency or life-threatening situations.

The Appello system will integrate with ‘Connect’, Caledonia’s online self-service portal and app.

“We wanted to move on from the old fashioned ‘big red button’ and looked for an innovative solution with better functionality, improved security, and faster connection times,” said Andy Dorrat, Caledonia team leader for Older Person’s Housing Services.

Linda Nairn, scheme manager at Servite House, said the quick response time gave her “complete peace of mind” that if she was offsite or supporting another resident, resident calls will go straight to the help they need.

“The tenants are delighted with the attractive wristbands that have replaced the heavy cumbersome pendants, which most never wore,” said Nairn.

“My new handset used during development visits is far more modern and never goes out of range.

“Importantly, the tenants are delighted at being able to contact one another socially via video call and are reassured by the extra security the cameras give via the video door entry,” she said.

Appello CEO Tim Barclay said Servite House is the first scheme in Scotland to embrace a fully digital telecare solution.

“Caledonia’s innovative approach to digital inclusion is forward thinking in an industry that still relies heavily on less safe and outdated analogue technology.

“We are proud that Appello Smart Living Solutions offer such great support to scheme managers whose time is often stretched across multiple developments, while improving the lives of tenants who can enjoy the benefits of digital inclusion,” he said.